May 31: snoring

It is a remarkable thing about the snore that it is almost impossible to hear oneself snoring. As a snorer myself (or so I am informed) I receive only tantalizing intimations of my affliction. This is how it works. I am asleep and am woken up by someone using the word ‘snore’. As I wake up I catch only the last fraction of my snore and am convinced in my half-sleep that what I was actually doing was merely sniffling or snuffling (any number of words with sniff or snuff in them) as I shifted in my sleep. I am furious as my waker has not waited long enough to see that this was not snoring, just snuffling. My waker has been Olympic-quick off the mark to snuff out the snuffle, too quick. Did my waker not see that this was a mere snuffle? What I am not understanding (apparently) is that I had in fact been snoring for ages but have been asleep and so unaware of the drone I was creating. The snuffle was, in fact, the full stop ot rather the three dots indicating ellipsis at the end of a long tedious paragraph of snore.

Can we take this phenomenon as a metaphor for life? When someone raises an issue with us about some particular aspect of our behaviour that they do not appreciate, we are often bemused by how such a tiny issue (brushing your teeth in the living room; putting vegetables and fruit cheek by jowel in the fruit bowl; grubby potatoes and pristine plum) could give rise to a complaint. What we do not see is that this is merely the final straw of a long liturgy of irritants tolerated in stoic silence, and that already, even as the issue is brought to our attention, it is too late to eradicate. Unbenownst to you, your snoring, or its equivalent, has been annoying the auditor for a life time already.

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